Setting Out to Prove Mom Wrong One Crack at a Time

portrait-317041__180Talk about taking matters into your own hands. Many people are told that they shouldn’t crack their knuckles and that doing so isn’t just bad matters – but bad for you. But is this really true? And does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis?

Donald Unger from California set out to find the answer on his own. He began cracking the knuckles on his left hand at least twice a day – while never cracking those on his right hand. He did so to create a long term study of knuckle cracking (we aren’t even making this up). After sixty years, he had still not developed arthritis. He actually published his findings in the journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism and talked with the LA Times about his experiment.

Cracking your knuckles can cause ligament or soft tissue damage, worn researchers. A study that was published in the  Annals of Rheumatic Diseases linked hand-cracking to hand swelling and lower grip strength. However, it does not appear to be the danger that some parents warn their children it will be.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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